Hi-Tech 1/48 Roland D.II
Hi-Tech 1/48 Roland D.II
when new, now OOP
Because of the success of the
Roland C.II the powers that be decided a smaller single seat version of the
Walfisch would be successful and so the Roland D.I Shark or Haifisch was born.
In spite of its smooth lines and
aerodynamic appearance it just never seemed to succeed as a front line fighter.
In an attempt to make it more user
friendly the original D.I airframe was modified to the D.II and later the D.IIa.
excellent 160 hp Mercedes engines were prioritized to the Albatros fighters the
Roland D.II got the relatively poorer 180 hp Argus engine.
If this was not bad enough the
Haifisch had the same problem with aerodynamic interference between the top and
Since the top and bottom wings were
closer then the wing chord, the wing had a tendency to enter a stall state
between the wings.
It behaved poorly in turns, in fact
if you turned too tight the aircraft would suddenly enter a spin.
Roland D.I was at the front from October 1916 to June 1917 and the Roland D.II
saw four months of front line service from April to June of 1917.
But that is not as important as the
fact that Pfalz was contracted to build about 220 airframes.
When Pfalz had completed their
contract of Rolands they took the knowledge of the Roland streamlined fuselage
improved it and started to build the Pfalz D.III and the Pfalz D.III.
At its peak they constituted 25% of
German front line fighters
First things first.
Hi-Tech is a limited run company
with all the accompanying down falls and advantages.
The downfalls are that the cockpit
is somewhat sparse and needs some detail work.
The parts need some fitting and
work to insure that they all fit together.
You will find no such luxuries as
locater pins and you will notice some symmetrical problems.
But thatís why we have body putty
and plastic stock.
That is how youíll get it to all
big plus with this kit is that you just wonít find this aircraft in a mainstream
kit. I know of no other company that has attempted this model in a 1/48th
scale injection molded plastic kit.
In the end this is the biggest
reason to get a short run kit.
The next biggest reason that I like
limited run kits is the sense of accomplishment I get when I finish.
are also about the same price as the newer mainstream kits.
A few years back you could expect
to spend three to four times the cost of a mainstream kit to purchase one of
these limited run kits.
In recent years the price of many
of the mainstream kits has increased to where they are in line with their
limited run brethren.
In other words the limited run
handmade kits seem to have remained constant while the mass produced mainstream
kits have gone up in price.
kit itself is basically simple with a rudimentary cockpit and a surprisingly
well done exterior.
The finish is some what pebbly.
I think all the Hi-Tech kits that
Iíve built had the same finish but this is taken care of with a coat of paint.
instructions are to say the least VAGUE.
But they are the same as all other
Hi-tech kits that Iíve built.
The key here is to get the Datafile
or borrow one from someone who has one.
decals look good and look to be in register.
Iíve never had problems with
Hi-tech decals so I donít expect any here.
limited run kits go I would say that this one fits firmly right in the middle.
Not the worst but certainly not the best.
WOW, OKÖ I started with the
cockpit and engine, pretty normal right.
But this kit has a very rudimentary
This is where the Windsock Datafile
What I did was use the pictures
that I could find and some of the information we have on
Since the cockpits of these two
aircraft and even the construction were very similar I could use all this
information to make a convincing Roland D.II cockpit.
liked the way the engine looked in the kit but I found the cylinders too big for
the engine block.
I had to do some work to get it to
fit together but it finally worked.
As I was test fitting the fuselage
halves together I found that they were off a little.
So I held the halves together with
a few tacks of model glue and began to make all the openings and body parts fit.
After, I was happy I popped the
parts apart and fit all the innards in the body.
Once again all the innards had to
be worked into place and glued with regular model glue and super glue.
I got the body together the rest seemed to go a little more smoothly with the
exception of working the wings so the struts would line up and that they would
have the slight rake.
Another reason to get yourself the
came with only one set of decals so that is the aircraft I built.
I painted it in the standard red
brown and green camouflage pattern of the time with a sky blue bottom.
The kit decals went on great with
The propeller was painted
light tan and then I hand painted the laminations with leather brown to give it
that composite look.
for the rigging, nothing much here.
The aircraft had simple cross
I just drilled small holes (#80
drill bits) half way through the upper wing.
I drill the holes in the bottom
wing all the way through.
I then anchor the monofilament
thread in the top wing and after it has dried, threaded it through the bottom
wing and set it with a drop of super glue.
When this has dried I clip the
thread and apply the decals.
Most of the time the decals cover
up the holes that I used for rigging.
If not I apply some touch up paint
to the model.
the weathering I like to use water based paint that I thin down till it is
I like to layer it until I get the
This was a challenging model
of an aircraft that I donít expect to see in a mainstream kit any time soon.
Even if it was produced in the
future I donít think that the mainstream manufacturers could come close to what
I paid for it at my local hobby shop.
This kit is out of production now
and Iíve not seen it very often on ebay and Iíve never seen it at a model show
at the model seller tables.
I guess that is why I buy any
limited run kits I want when I can and why my stash is so large.
Datafile #47 LFG Roland D.IIĒ Albatros Productions LTD
ďJaneís All the Worlds Aircraft 1917Ē (Janeís Fighting Aircraft of World War I)
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